Incorporating fruit into a nutrition bar while also maintaining a low net carb count (total carbs – fiber) is not easy. However, given how uniquely brain-healthy blueberries are, we spent quite some time doing just that when formulating the Blueberry Walnut IQ Bar.
So…why exactly are these little blue beauties so great?
Blueberries are Incredibly Nutrient-Dense
Ounce-for-ounce, no fruit holds a candle to the blueberry from a nutritional standpoint. A 1-cup serving (148 grams) of blueberries contains:
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Vitamin C: 24% of the RDA
- Vitamin K: 36% of the RDA
- Manganese: 25% of the RDA
They also contain lower – but still meaningful – amounts of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, and Vitamin B6. And, because blueberries are 85% water, all those nutrients come from just 84 calories/cup!
Blueberries are an Anti-Oxidant Powerhouse
Anti-oxidants protect the body from naturally occurring damaged molecules called free radicals that attack our DNA and cell membranes. Luckily, blueberries have the highest anti-oxidant content of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.
The primary antioxidants in blueberries are called flavonoids, which a wealth of research has shown to be highly beneficial to brain function. Not only do flavonoids directly combat free-radicals, but they also indirectly do so by activating the body’s extensive internal anti-oxidant Nrf2 pathway.
Plus, Blueberries Benefit More than the Brain
While blueberries are perhaps best known for their cognitive benefits, they also confer benefits on other critical organs, like the heart. For instance, one 2013 study found that, across roughly 100,000 female nurses, those who ate flavonoids regularly were 32% less likely to suffer a heart attack.
Additionally, blueberries – much like cranberries – have been shown to be quite effective in preventing urinary tract infections due to their richness in anti-adhesives, compounds that prevent bacteria from binding to the bladder wall. And finally, blueberries may reduce muscle damage caused by exercise-induced inflammation and oxidation.
So now you know why we had to include blueberries in one of our IQ Bar flavors. Stay tuned for other ingredient spotlights!